Castle Gardens Scenic Area
Guide

Introduction

If you feel the voice of adventure calling your name, a trip to Wyoming's Castle Gardens Scenic Area might just fit the bill. It's a wonderful place to explore on your next RV getaway.

Castle Gardens Scenic Area is a BLM-managed property situated in Worland, Wyoming. A scenic place nestled at the base of Bighorn Mountain, this beautiful recreational area sits at a high elevation, offering incredible views of the surrounding rock structures.

Castle Gardens Scenic Area offers four different campgrounds for families to enjoy. There are also several camping facilities for both RV and tent camping found in area state parks and national forests.

There are many beautiful topographical features to enjoy at this picturesque park. The landscape is dotted with rich forest cover and such lush vegetation as sage, cedar, and juniper. Castle Gardens Scenic Area is also a spot that is renowned for its more macabre history. The nearby town of Tensleep was once home to the slaughter of a local rancher, several of his friends, and all of their livestock.

For families that enjoy picnicking, Castle Gardens Scenic Area provides a lovely backdrop. There are picnic tables situated on the grounds. Fire pits and bathrooms are also available for the public to use.

This property is also sometimes referred to as Castle Gardens Petroglyph Site due to the prevalence of rock art found in the region.

For an intriguing spot to visit on your next RV vacation, be sure to stop by Castle Gardens Scenic Area. It's a great place to learn more about America's rich culture and enjoy some R&R in a beautiful setting.

RV Rentals in Castle Gardens Scenic Area

Transportation

Driving

An extremely remote location, travel to Castle Gardens Scenic Area is best achieved from the nearby town of Tensleep. Travelers should follow Old 10 Sleep Highway, making a left hand turn onto 2 Mile Hill Road. At Castle Gardens Road, motorists should stay to the right, following along for approximately one mile until they reach the parking lot.

Most of the roads leading to Castle Gardens Scenic Area are two lanes and paved. However, Castle Gardens Road is lined with dirt.

The route to this popular destination is very well-marked.

Parking

There is a dirt-lined parking lot located just outside this entrance to Castle Gardens Scenic Area.

Public Transportation

There is no public transportation available to Castle Gardens Scenic Area due to its remote location.

Campgrounds and parking in Castle Gardens Scenic Area

Campsites in Castle Gardens Scenic Area

Reservations camping

West Tensleep Lake Campground

Located with Bighorn National Forest is West Tensleep Lake Campground. This popular camping facility sits directly along the coast of West Tensleep Lake and is near to one of the most beloved trails in the region.

Reservations are required for RV and tent camping at this much-loved campground. Among the amenities found on the grounds are drinking water and vault toilets.

Stays are restricted to no more than 14 days in total.

There are many recreational activities to enjoy at this campground including hiking and fishing. The property is also located near to many important historical sites and popular attractions.

Each campsite is furnished with a picnic table and fire pit.

A waste disposal station can be found at Powder River Pass, a small town that is 17 miles from the campground.

Pets are permitted to join their owners but must remain leashed at all times.

Lower Wind River Campground

Lower Wind River Campground is found within Boysen State Park and is one of several camping facilities on the grounds. This particular campground sits near to the Boysen Dam, offering incredible views for RV and tent campers to enjoy.

The area is known to see a lot of wind, and there is very little tree cover to provide protection from the sun. On occasion, bighorn sheep can be seen on the grounds.

There are 50 sites in total. Reservations are highly recommended.

The on-site amenities include toilets, drinking water, and picnic tables. There are no power, water, or sewer hookups available at this popular campground.

Pets are permitted on the grounds; however, they must remain leashed.

First-come first-served

Boulder Park Campground

Boulder Park Campground, a property situated near Tensleep Creek, is a popular camping facility for both RV and tent campers. Camping is permitted year-round on a first-come, first-served basis.

A maximum stay of 30 days is permitted at this campground.

The on-site amenities include drinking water and vault toilets.

A pass is required for all stays at Boulder Park Campground.

Pets are permitted on the grounds but must remain leashed at all times.

This camping facility is found at the mouth of several popular trailheads.

Seasonal activities in Castle Gardens Scenic Area

In-Season

Boysen State Park

Boysen State Park is a popular recreational area for families to explore when in the region visiting Castle Gardens Scenic Area. Named for Mr. Asmus Boysen, a gentleman responsible for the building of a dam in the region. Mr. Boysen is also credited with constructing a power plant on the grounds.

In 1923, the power plant was no longer in use due to localized flooding in the region. The canyon later became the site of a railroad, then also saw the building of a state highway on the grounds. With the completion of the dam in 1951, the area was subsequently awarded the designation of state park in the year 1956.

Today, Boysen State Park is well-renowned as the biggest state park and accompanying reservoir in Wyoming.

Among the most popular activities at this beautiful recreational area are fishing, swimming, and boating.

RV and tent camping is permitted at any of the designated campgrounds on the premises. Stays are restricted to a maximum of 14 days.

Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway

Located in the small town of Shoshoni, Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway is an amazing spot to spend the day when visiting Castle Gardens Scenic Area. This road travels through Wind River Canyon and the Wind River Indian Reservation before culminating in Thermopolis. A relatively short drive at only 40 minutes, the route is particularly picturesque.

Among the sites discovered while traveling along Wind River Canyon Byway include the Owl Creek Mountains and the Boysen Reservoir. Along the route, families can stop at the reservoir to enjoy some of the best fishing and swimming in the region.
Thermopolis is home to Hot Springs State Park, a recreational center that is well-renowned for its mineral hot spring considered to be the biggest of its kind in the world. The hiking is spectacular here.

Big Horn Hot Spring

The town of Thermopolis is home to the Big Horn Hot Spring. The town's name translates to "hot city" and is Greek in origin.

Thermopolis is famed as being home to the largest hot spring in the world. Bighorn Hot Spring generates 3.6 million gallons of intensely hot water per day. The waters here have been enjoyed by civilizations for as long as 2,000 years.

In 1896, the Shoshone and Arapaho Native Americans that dwelled in the region made the decision to form a treaty permitting anyone residing in or visiting the region to enjoy the hot springs.

Off-Season

Hells Half Acre

Hells Half Acre was named when a cowhand accidentally discovered it and mistook the premises for a property of the same name located in a different area of the state. The property consists of 300 acres in total.

The name was rather apropos given the rough and rugged landscape found at this destination hotspot. Hells Half Acre has also been referred to as The Devil's Kitchen, the Pit of Hades, and the Baby Grand Canyon.

A ravine traverses the land and was once used by Native American settlers to help move buffalo over cliff faces to their doom below. Today, the property is now a tourist attraction just off the main highway. Found on the grounds up until 2005 were a hotel and a small restaurant. Though the buildings remain on the premises, they are no longer in use, and their future is uncertain.

Sinks Canyon State Park

Sinks Canyon State Park was named for the canyon that rests on the grounds. This recreational area is nestled in the midst of the Wind River Mountains.

The park's name was taken from a unique geological phenomenon referred to as "The Sinks." The Sinks is essentially a section of water that suddenly disappears beneath the canyon's entrance.

To reach the Sinks, families can begin at the waterfalls which mark the fork of the Popo Agie River. The mountains in the region are known to see a vast amount of snow on occasion, sometimes reaching up to 200 inches. The surrounding area is wilderness that is under protection by the United States government.

An area that is rich in forest and vegetation, a vast expanse of wildlife is seen in the area as well.

Wind River Lake

Located in an important stretch of wilderness, Wind River Lake is both scenic and beautiful. Just outside the lakeshore is a picnic area where families can enjoy a light lunch or snack with incredible views of the water and nearby Sublette Peak.

This lake begins at the head of the Wind River and stretches towards the nearby village of Dubois. Due to its high elevation, fishing is not a popular activity at this recreational area. However, there are many hiking trails found on the grounds which offer stunning lake views.

Whitewater rafting is extremely popular here.